The NIMH Depression Awareness, Recognition, and Treatment Program: Structure, aims, and scientific basis
National Institute of Mental Health (U.S.)
United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Unrecognized, untreated, and undertreated depressive disorders extract an inordinate human and economic cost, despite the availability of an extensive array of effective clinical interventions. To enhance the availability and quality of care, the National Institute of Mental Health launched the Depression Awareness, Recognition, and Treatment Program, a multiphase information and education program designed to alert health professionals and the general public to the fact that depressive disorders are common, serious, and treatable. The authors review the development of this program, describing the professional education efforts it supports in anticipation of increased demand for services, the public education campaign launched in May 1988, and highlights of the scientific advances that make the program feasible and timely.